Latin American Drug dealer Beira-Mar’s lawyers arrested

Monday, November 15, 2004

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Two lawyers of accused drug dealer Luiz Fernando da Costa (also known as Fernando Beira-Mar) were arrested Sunday November 14 in a restaurant located at Rio de Janeiro city in Brazil. They have been accused of bribing Brazilian federal police officers.

Luiz Fernando da Costa, known as Fernando Beira-Mar or Fernandinho Beira-Mar, is one of the biggest drug dealers of Latin America according to police. Beira-Mar was arrested by the Colombian army at April 20-21, 2001, in a FARC camp located at a forest near Colombia and Venezuela and then transferred to Brazil where he is been in prison until now.

According to officers the lawyers had offered R$200,000 (US$71,658.9) to police officers asking them to release Marcos José Monteiro Carneiro, another man accused of being a drug dealer.

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Study shows long-term couples more satisfied with relationships and sex lives

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A recently-published international study shows that in long-term couples, men are more satisfied with their relationships, and women are more satisfied with their sex lives.

The study, which also says that men enjoy cuddling (i.e. hugging and kissing) more than women, was published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour by the Kinsey Institute in Indiana University Bloomington. More formally known as the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, the organization is also known for reporting in the 1940s that young adults were having sex. The report observed more than 1,000 couples from the US, Japan, Germany, Spain, and Brazil. All of the survey participants were aged 40 to 70, and all of the couples had been together for at least a year. The average duration of the relationship was 25 years.

Japanese men were more likely to be satisfied with their sex lives than American men, and Japanese and Brazilian women were more likely to be satisfied with their sex lives than American women, though the study did not control for other factors such as age.

Women in relationships lasting at least 15 years were more likely to be happy with their sex lives than women in relationships lasting less than 15 years. According to the report’s author Julia Heiman, “It’s possible that women became more satisfied over time because their expectations change, or life changes when their children grow up.”

Men who reported regular hugging and kissing in their relationships were three times as happy as those without cuddling.

Jennifer Bass, communications director at the Kinsey Institute, says that “this study makes it clear our assumptions aren’t always borne out by research,” referring to common beliefs that men prefer sex while women prefer cuddling.

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Scandinavian Airlines System landing gear failures prompt grounding of Bombardier Q400s

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The second landing gear failure on a Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) de Havilland Canada Dash 8 (also known as a Bombardier Q400 following Bombardier’s purchase of de Havilland Canada from Boeing) within the space of a week has prompted the grounding of many of the twin-engined turboprops.

On September 9, Scandinavian Airlines Flight 1209 suffered a right landing gear failure during landing at Aalborg Airport, Denmark. A fire broke out during the crash, and five people sustained injuries. This was followed today by the similar crash of Scandinavian Airlines Flight 2748 at Palanga Airport, Lithuania. No-one was injured.

The accidents have resulted in Bombardier recommending the grounding of all Q400s, which have undertaken more than 60,000 flights, as a “precautionary measure”. This affects leading carriers around the world, including SAS, Alaska Air ‘s Horizon Air subsidiary, Flybe, Japan Airlines, Austrian Airlines Group and Augsburg Airways, and covers around 60 aircraft.

SAS and Horizon Air have grounded 27 and 15 aircraft respectively, while Flybe have grounded six. Another airline, Porter Airlines, which operates the type exclusively against any others, have pointed out that their aircraft have not undertaken enough flights to be affected by the measures.

The landing gear are manufactured in the United States by Goodrich Corporation. One industry analyst, Cameron Doerksen, said that he felt that although the incidents and groundings obviously constitute bad publicity, he feels it would not influence the decision of a carrier considering whether to purchase Q400s. Bombardier declined 17 cents, or 2.7 percent, to C$6.23 on the Toronto Stock Exchange and SAS fell 6 kronor, or 4.8 percent, to 118 kronor in stock exchanging in Stockholm. Goodrich stock rose 19 cents to $64.96 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The groundings have caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled, leaving thousands of passengers stranded every day. The cost to SAS alone is estimated at 10-15 million Swedish kronor per day.

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Kosovo declares independence from Serbia

Sunday, February 17, 2008

At 15:00 GMT today, Kosovo announced its independence from Serbia. Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi declared that Kosovo would become a democratic country and would respect the rights of all its communities. It is expected that several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States and most members of the European Union, will recognise its independence on Monday. Serbia and Russia are against an independent Kosovo. Approximately 10% of Kosovars are of Serbian descent, the majority is Albanian.

The declaration was passed unanimously by the Kosovar parliament, who subsequently signed it. The Prime Minister told MPs that “We have waited for this day for a very long time”, and that “the independence of Kosovo marks the end of the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia”. He also said that Kosovo would be working to follow the plan drawn up by former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, and the United Nations. MPs have also selected a new flag (pictured on the right), showing the shape of the country in gold, on a blue background, with six white stars.

The Serbian Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica said that the declaration made Kosovo a “false state”. Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic had this to say about the declaration:

Let me be very clear. The Republic of Serbia shall never accept any violation of its territorial integrity. We shall never recognise Kosovo’s independence. We shall not waiver, we shall not yield, should this cowardly act proceed unchecked. Not now. Not in a year. Not in a decade. Never.

He had previously said that if Kosovo were to declare independence, “we shall undertake all diplomatic, political and economic measures designed to impede and reverse this direct and unprovoked attack on our sovereignty.”

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Wikinews interviews Richard H. Clark, independent candidate for US President

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. The most recent of our interviews is Gaithersburg, Maryland’s Richard H. Clark (b. 1960), a senior software engineer and member of MENSA.


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Wikipedia founder embroiled in affair and financial allegations

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The implosion of a relationship between Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and journalist Rachel Marsden has resulted in controversy and international headlines. Associated Press and ABC News have also reported on questionable activity by Wales involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. The Wikimedia Foundation is a donor-supported non-profit organization which runs Wikipedia.

Marsden had contacted Wales two years ago about concerns she had over the article about her on Wikipedia, and Wales determined the article was not compliant with Wikipedia’s standards. The tech blog Valleywag revealed Wales had a personal relationship with Marsden, and posted supposed transcripts of their instant message conversations on its site, Wales and Marsden met in February, and The Times reported that “An apparent transcript of their conversations before that meeting suggests that, although Mr Wales had withdrawn from the editing process, he was still influencing the editors.” The Times quoted Wales from the chat logs as having stated to Marsden “The truth is of course a much worse conflict of interest than that; but that will do.” — in reference to his conflict of interest regarding Marsden’s article on Wikipedia.

Wales posted a public statement on Saturday on Wikipedia addressing the matter, and stated that his relationship with Marsden was over: “First, while I find it hard to imagine that anyone really cares about my sex life, the facts are: I am separated from my wife. I considered myself single at the time of my one meeting with Rachel Marsden on Feb. 9, 2008 … I am no longer involved with Rachel Marsden. Gossipy stories suggesting that I have been in a relationship with her ‘since last fall’ are completely false … I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.” With regard to the conflict of interest in Marsden’s article, Wales had acknowledged to a team of Wikipedia editors in February 2008 that he and Marsden “became friends … and that we would be meeting about that,” and stated “I recused myself from any further official action with respect to her biography.”

On Sunday, The Canadian Press reported that Marsden had posted photos of herself on Ebay, and was selling items that Wales had left at her New York City apartment. In her Ebay posting, Marsden stated: “Hi, my name is Rachel and my (now ex-) boyfriend, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, just broke up with me via an announcement on Wikipedia … It was such a classy move that I was inspired to do something equally classy myself, so I’m selling a couple of items of clothing he left behind, here in my NYC apartment, on eBay. Jimbo was supposed to come visit me in a couple of weeks and pick up some of his stuff, but obviously that won’t be happening now.” Marsden told The Canadian Press “It didn’t really help matters that Jimmy chose to announce the breakup to the entire world via Wikipedia (which apparently now is an online encyclopedia that doubles as a personal soapbox?) rather than to me directly (which he did much later, in an instant message discussion).”

I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.

Marsden placed a t-shirt and sweater which she said were left at her apartment by Wales up on Ebay, and started the bidding for each at ninety-nine cents, with the auctions set to end on March 12. By Monday, bidding on the t-shirt had reached US$300, and by Tuesday the highest bid had reached $12,200. In an email to The Globe and Mail, Marsden stated “My only focus right now, to be really honest, is on my career and finding a way to get back into print, TV, or radio here in NYC,” she wrote. “All of this other personal stuff is just an unfortunate distraction.”

Jay Walsh, the Wikimedia Foundation’s head of communications, told the San Jose Mercury News that Wales’ actions in relaying Marsden’s concerns about her Wikipedia article to a team of trusted editors was within his “routine” role. When asked by the San Jose Mercury News if Wales’ actions regarding the Marsden article could compromise his role with the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia, Walsh responded “No, absolutely not.”

On Tuesday, ABC News carried a story by Wired News reporter Megan McCarthy regarding allegations of “excessive spending” by Wales, and Associated Press also reported on questions involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. McCarthy reported that former Wikimedia executive Danny Wool, who had left the foundation last year, criticized Wales’ use of Wikimedia Foundation expenses in a blog post. Wool stated that Wales had tried to expense $300 bottles of wine, a $1,300 dinner for four at a Florida steakhouse, and visits to Moscow massage parlors to the foundation, and that the foundation rescinded Wales’ corporate credit card in 2006. Wool also stated that Wales paid the foundation $7,000, after being short $30,000 on receipts for expenses.

Wool told EPICENTER that “There were occasions where he used [the Wikimedia Foundation] for personal advancement under the guide [sic] of the mission. And, as someone who was in there for the mission part of it, I found that rather distressful.” Wool commented in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle: “Originally, it was carelessness … But as things developed, it became more apparent and obvious that he was taking advantage of the foundation credit card. It was almost like his personal piggy bank.”

Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own.

In an instant message exchange with Associated Press, Wales denied that the Wikimedia Foundation had taken away his corporate credit card, and asserted that he had made the decision to stop expensing business travel for the foundation. Wales highlighted a statement by the foundation’s executive director Sue Gardner: “Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own.” In an email to Associated Press, Brad Patrick, a former attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, stated “Danny seems interested in blogging his way straight to a lawsuit”.

Florence Devouard, who chairs the Wikimedia Foundation, told Associated Press that Wales had been “slow in submitting receipts,” and that the foundation had rejected Wales’ expense at the Florida steakhouse. Devouard told fellow foundation board members in a private email that she had convinced Associated Press that “the money story was a no story,” and told Wales “I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past. Get a grip!” Wales told Associated Press: “The board, the current executive director, the previous executive director, and independent auditors have reviewed our books and publicly agree that all of my expenses were appropriate and fully accounted for.”

Media reports speculated on how the controversy would end up being represented in Wikipedia itself. On Wednesday, the St. Petersburg Times wrote: “Wales’ Wikipedia page said only this about Marsden: ‘Wales had a brief relationship with Canadian journalist Rachel Marsden.'” An article in The Australian surmised: “History will decide whether Mr Wales broke his own principles, but before that happens there may well be a Wikipedia page devoted to the controversy.”

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US adds 173,000 jobs in August; unemployment rate drops to seven year low

Monday, September 7, 2015

The US economy added 173,000 jobs in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 5.3 to 5.1 percent, the lowest since April 2008.

Although August job gains were lower than most economists forecast, job growth numbers for June and July were revised upwards by a combined 44,000. Average job gains over the past three months stand at 221,000, compared to March-May’s 189,000 monthly average. Over the past twelve months, job growth has averaged 247,000 per month.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent, or 8 cents, marking the largest increase in earnings in seven months. Hourly earnings had risen by 6 cents in July. Wages have risen by 2.2 percent over the past year.

Job growth in August was primarily concentrated in the health care and social assistance, financial activities, and professional and business services sectors. Those three areas of the economy added a combined 108,000 jobs. Food service and drinking places employment increased by 26,000 over the month, and other economic sectors saw employment hold steady. Manufacturing, on the other hand, saw employment decline by 17,000 in August. A stronger dollar and worldwide economic weakness make US exports less desirable, leading to a flattening in manufacturing employment so far this year after steadily rising in the early years of the US economic recovery.

The solid overall job gains led analysts to slightly raise expectations for a decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month. Investors raised the likelihood of a September rate increase from 26 percent before the jobs report to 30 percent, and stocks dropped by over one percent on Friday. “The payrolls data is certainly good enough to allow for a Fed rate hike in September,” said Deutsche Bank’s head of currency strategy, Alan Ruskin. “The big question is still whether financial market volatility will scupper the plans.”

“This is the first time the market has looked at a Fed meeting and really has no idea what the Fed is going to do,” said Mark Kepner, a New Jersey equity trader with Themis Trading. “Right now you’re looking at the overall uncertainty and that’s what’s hanging on the market. I don’t think this number in and of itself changes how somebody’s going to vote.”

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Dell announces revenue and cost actions to halt decline

Friday, September 15, 2006

Dell‘s share price has been in a sharp decline as the company has struggled to deal with declining PC and server revenues. Now it has been forced to delay its 2Q financial report as it deals with state and federal accounting investigations. Dell revealed last month that the SEC was looking into its past financial statements. As a result, it has been forced to put its stock buyback programme on hold until the market can be confident the share price is right. To correct its course, Dell has also announced in the past week:

Dell intends to be less US-centric, and to build new plants in regions such as central Europe, Brazil, China and India. Under the Dell 2.0 roadmap, the company will also provide fewer services in-house.

Dell said this week that customer satisfaction is something that it had not done perfectly in the past. “We made a decision six to 12 months ago, because we weren’t pleased with our internal and external satisfaction indices,” said a Dell general manager. Dell has also reduced its supplier base, to ‘reduce variability in component quality’, according to CEO Kevin Rollins. The company will also focus on product design, another aspect that Dell has been accused of neglecting in the past.

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State Farm Insurance allegedly destroying papers

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Zach Scruggs, a lawyer for United States Senator Trent Lott, says that State Farm Insurance Company is destroying records related to claims for damage from Hurricane Katrina.

The records allegedly contain information saying that State Farm fraudulently denied insurance claims made by its policy holders, including Lott, that had homes there were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the Gulf Coast.

Scruggs said that Lott has “good faith belief” that many employees of the insurance company in Biloxi, Mississippi are destroying engineer’s reports that were inconclusive as to whether or not water or wind was the main cause of damage to the buildings affected by the hurricane.

Lott is among thousands of home and/or business owners who had their property damaged or destroyed during the hurricane and had their claims denied because State Farm claimed that their policies don’t cover damage caused by floods or water that was driven by the wind.

State Farm has not issued a statement on the matter so far.

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